Union Theological Seminary Student Life

Student Affairs

Persist, the Caucus for Gender Equality

Lindsey Briggs

[per-sist] verb

  1. to continue steadfastly or firmly in some state, purpose, course of action, or the like, especially in spite of opposition, remonstrance, etc.
  2. to last or endure tenaciously
  3. to be insistent in a statement, request, question, etc.

We are women and men who believe in the life-affirming notion that dignity, equality and human rights belong to all people – male or female. Our theological perspectives include a feminist and radical analysis of power, and we maintain that all systems of oppression are interrelated, especially those that declare and justify women as second class citizens. We will persist in empowering our local and global community with awareness of and skills to reform structures of domination and control.

Proposed 2008-2009 Events

October 16:
On the eve of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty help organize a celebration of the Poverty Requiem and a Recognition Reception at the Church Center for the United Nations. This event will partner with many local and international non-governmental organizations and churches.

November 25: On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women we will organize a prayer service to honor those “Unforgettable Butterflies” – women who have suffered gender based violence – with special attention to testimonies from within our own community as a means to promote awareness and healing of violence against women.

November 30: Join the planning process of a major prayer service being hosted at Riverside Church on the eve of World AIDS Day. As women – especially women of color - are one of the most vulnerable and quickly growing affected groups in the AIDS pandemic, we will work to ensure that a gender perspective is included into the liturgy and prayers of the service.

20-21 February: Working in close collaboration with coalition “Ecumenical Women”, join us to provide an orientation and advocacy training for international and ecumenical delegates prior to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. In close cooperation with the Advocacy Coordinator of Ecumenical Women, Persist will support the planning of this practical example of ecumenical witness and commitment to the human rights of women around the world, particularly through the theme of women, HIV and AIDS and the care economy.

TBA March: Join us to organize a community development workshop a solid understanding and background on denominational policies with regard to sexual and reproductive health and rights, highlight some of the ongoing efforts and difficulties of churches and civil society to advocate for access to family planning, comprehensive sexuality education and access to safe and legal abortions.

TBA April: Help to plan this discussion highlighting the growing global trend of Female Genital Mutilation/ Female Circumcision (FGM/C). This session will present a case study of ongoing efforts to put an end to the practice in Kenya, led by a catholic sister.

TBA Spring: Plan a spring chapel service around an issue chosen by the members of Persist; whether we decide to highlight our experiences at the Commission on the Status of Women or reflect more generally on gender equality, Persist aims to bring our action into reflection at community worship, with your help.

What are some of your ideas? Come and share your hopes and intentions for Persist!

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